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Knauf adds speed to modular Mansfield schools.

Knauf adds speed to modular Mansfield schools.

Spray-applied Airless Plaster and GIFAfloor dry screed flooring from Knauf has enabled Central Site Accommodation, a modular building manufacturer and contractor based in Coventry, to speed up production and construction on a schools extensions programme in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

The contractor has already used the products on two extensions to the King Edward Primary School in Mansfield and is now planning to employ them on a further 20 similar projects in Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire over the following six months.

“Now that we’ve trialled them and we’re happy with the results we plan to use them as part of our system build,” said director Mike Walsh. Through using Knauf Airless Plaster and Knauf GIFAfloor the company has saved time and cut costs in both installation and making good on site, he explained.

“We try to do as much as possible off-site but we couldn’t do this with other plastering systems as they would crack when we lifted the module onto a truck. This product is flexible so we don’t have that problem so now we can do second-fix work such as skirtings, doorsets and decorating or fitting out toilets, and kitchens in the factory,” he said. “Health and safety at the school is also improved because contractors are on-site for less time.”

Knauf Airless Plaster is one of four products in Knauf’s range of Ready Plasters that cover every application including thin joint block systems, pre-cast panels, aircrete panels, concrete, brickwork, composite boards and refurbishment over previously decorated surfaces.

Ideal for off-site and fast-track construction programmes, the range significantly cuts on-site timescales while improving health and safety with no mess, fewer movements and no water required.

Less prone to chips and cracks than traditional plaster, the range offers an excellent quality finish and are supplied pre-mixed to the correct consistency for spray application, no direct water supply is required on site and wastage is less than 1%. 1,000m2 per week can be finished by a two man gang, while surfaces can be emulsioned within 24 to 48 hours, so the plaster can be applied by the same teams applying the paint finishes.

Similar benefits also resulted from installing Knauf GIFAfloor, an interlocking tongue and grooved flooring product that is engineered from highly compressed gypsum fibreboard, rather than cement particle flooring because it has precise flush glued joints. Also, because it is a dry screed, the product cut out all the curing and drying time that a wet screed would have needed.

“We previously used cement particle boards which would differ in thickness by 2–3mm, so we would have to machine them in the factory and then apply screed on-site. The GIFAfloor is machined to within a millimetre when it arrives and once it’s down we can apply the flooring straight away,” notes Mr Walsh. “But, like the particle board, it also feels like a solid floor and not like plywood.”

Another plus, he says, is that the sheets are far smaller and so easier to handle being only 1200 x 600mm.

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